Rapist admits assaulting two women in space of 15 minutes


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The Independent Online

A man has admitted raping a woman and sexually assaulting another in the space of 15 minutes in a city centre street.

Scott Kerr, 22, dragged his first victim, a 20-year-old woman, into a car park in James Watt Street in Glasgow and assaulted her in the early hours of Wednesday December 21.

A quarter of an hour later, he raped a 22-year-old woman on a ramp into an underground car park serving the BT building across the road.

At the High Court in Glasgow today, Kerr, who moved from East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire to Dundee about a month before he carried out the attacks, pled guilty to all of the charges against him.

Advocate depute Gillian Wade, head of the National Sex Crimes Unit, told the court that Kerr was on a Christmas night out with colleagues on the night of the offences, where "a considerable amount" of alcohol had been consumed.

He and some friends had ended up in a club, Platinum Lace in Drury Street, but Kerr was thrown out for falling asleep just after 3am.

Outside, he argued with members of his group and after being punched, stormed off along Hope Street and on to Renfrew Street where he turned left instead of right, in the opposite direction from citizenM hotel where the group were staying.

His friends shouted for him and repeatedly tried to phone him but he did not answer, the court heard.

He was captured on CCTV footage from around the city centre, making his way to James Watt Street, through Blythswood Street and Argyle Street.

Ms Wade said Kerr headed for an area known for prostitution, where he "loitered" for about 40 minutes.

The advocate depute said Kerr's first victim had screamed and struggled as he tried to pull down her underwear. She had been walking home alone from a night out at about 3.50am and, at first, did not pay any attention to Kerr as he walked past her.

Ms Wade told the court: "He then shouted something to her but thinking he was just drunk, she ignored him. He ran after her and huckled her off the pavement. She describes feeling a blow and she then fell to the ground.

"Kerr then pushed her on her back before climbing on top of her, with the intention of raping her."

Ms Wade said: "She was screaming for help. She was scared and crying and put up a struggle. She tried to get her boots off, to make it easier to run away if she got the chance or as something to use as a weapon.

"The accused found it difficult to handle her. He managed to keep hold of her and tried to pull her tights down. She lashed out at him and stood up and ran away."

The woman ran to Broomielaw where she flagged down a taxi. The driver and passenger said the young woman was "extremely distressed" and told them someone had just tried to rape her. They phoned the police.

The court was shown CCTV footage of part of the second attack, as Kerr dragged his victim along the car-park access ramp. Again, she had been walking back from a night out alone to her boyfriend's flat. She was chatting on the phone to her friend, the court heard.

Kerr tried to engage her in conversation with "something trivial", and her friend on the phone tried to "reassure her", Ms Wade said.

He then grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her on to the ramp.

Ms Wade said: "He told her: if you scream I'll f****** kill you."

The court heard that the woman stayed quiet out of fear of what he would do to her. Her friend eventually hung up when he could not hear anything but immediately phoned back as he thought the sound of her ringtone would attract attention to her. Unfortunately, the woman's phone was on silent.

Kerr pushed her to the ground and raped her.

Ms Wade said: "She was crying and extremely upset but she was scared of what he might do.

"After a few minutes he got up and walked away."

After the attack the court heard that the woman saw a delivery van which was just about to leave and ran over and told the driver what had happened.

He had seen a police van around the corner on Broomielaw, which had arrived in response to the first attack, and he took her there.

Kerr bowed his head as the details of his offences were read out in court. Some of his family members sat in the public gallery.

The court heard that after CCTV images of him were released to the media, a number of his friends and colleagues thought it could be him. Some of his colleagues contacted police and gave them his name.

When shown the images Kerr agreed that it could be him and he attended Dundee police station on December 23, where he told officers: "It's me in the pictures. I just wanted to sort this out."

Defence lawyer Robert Anthony QC told the court his client had no recollection of committing the offence but he "wholly accepts that it is him".

He said Kerr's early plea of guilty should be taken into consideration.

Mr Anthony said: "The panel was keen to ensure that these young ladies did not have to relive what must have been a nightmare for them.

He described it as "a Christmas night out which went dreadfully wrong for a number of parties" and said his client had shown great remorse, not for what was going to happen to him but for his two victims.

Mr Anthony also said tests were carried out to see if Kerr had been spiked or if he had any psychological problems at the time, which showed he was not.

Judge Lady Stacey deferred sentence to June 22 at the High Court in Edinburgh to obtain a social work report and a risk assessment which could mean Kerr is placed under supervision at the end of his sentence.

She said: "It seems that you are a danger to the public. I have to be fully informed about you before I can serve any sentence."